At home, our kitchen is firmly in “OK” territory when it comes to how kitted out we are. We’re always evolving it, and one benefit to traveling and staying at a ton of different places is that it really helps you figure out what exactly works for you in the kitchen. It’s easy to see when our healthy eating habits take a dive, and it’s usually because the kitchen is less optimal than we’d like. (Although we do what we can—when we got to the first place we stayed in Girona and knew we had a full month here, we immediately went out and bought a decent-sized frying pan rather than using the single serve one all month.) But over the years, here’s the few things I really feel like make a difference when it comes to being able to eat healthy, easily. A lot of it comes down to one simple thing: The ability to very quickly put together a solid salad. Other than that, I can take or leave most things.
A Freaking Big Cutting Board
Weird, but if you’ve ever tried to make dinner with a super small cutting board, you immediately notice that you tend to chop less because it’s a P in the A. Pretty rarely are you using a cutting board for stuff that you don’t want to eat in bulk—most of it is vegetables. So having a big board = actually having an easy time making massive salads. I’m digging this 24″ x 18″ one and considering upgrading since we have a 15 x 15 at home.
A Really Good Knife
Again, you don’t know what you’re missing til it’s gone. We have one good knife at home and it makes cutting vegetables for salad infinitely easier. Tomatoes are a huge hassle to cut with a dull knife! This J.A. Henckels 10″ chef knife has treated us really well, and while it’s not cheap, it’s not bananas-expensive at $60.
…And a Knife Sharpener
READ MORE: 5 Cheap Ways to 10X Your Salads
This is actually one that surprised me because the place we’re staying in Girona has salad bowls (but no soup or cereal bowls) and at first we were pissed. But after a few days, I realized that I actually love wide, low bowls that can pack a huge salad into them. It’s made me eat salad more often, and even stews are easier to eat and serve because they cool faster in these bowls. Will be getting some for home as soon as we’re back—likely these 29-ounce ones. Simple!
Lemon Essential Oil
Not all oil is created equal, but if you use an option like this one, it is INSANE as a flavor burst in stews (just a couple drops) or even if you don’t have lime juice when making guacamole. It’s also great for cleaning. Really, it’s all-around amazing and expect it to creep into stuff I write about A LOT more often.
Silly, but I’m a bit of a salt fanatic, so everywhere I go, I immediately get a decent salt. Lately, I’ve been checking out Morton’s Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and I freaking love it—and it’s easy to find in stores/online.
We currently have an Instant Pot at home and it’s great, but honestly, the best part about it for me is the slow cooker setting. I love a good stew or soup, and while I can make them here in Girona on the stovetop, they don’t end up with the same depth of flavor as one that’s had all day in the slow cooker has. And slow cookers are cheap AF if you head to a consignment store, or on Amazon they’re super reasonable. The ability to make easy stew is basically the fastest way to ensure you never throw out limp veggies that are no longer salad worthy—make a kitchen sink style stew with whatever vegetables are in the fridge, some broth and some protein and you’re good to go!